Optics with Jello Lenses
Posted June 3, 2009on:
How do you see light’s path through a lens? We did this experiment at the DAMOP teacher’s workshop at Penn State last year. Make Jello in a flat bottom pan, about 3/4″ deep. Use half the water so the Jello is firmer than normal. You’ll have to experiment with the color and tell me which works best, I haven’t done this on my own yet.
Obviously the Jello is made the day before. Now cut the Jello into the shapes of the lenses. You can make prisms, double concave, convex, whatever you like. You can float the pan in warm water to release the lenses from the pan. Don’t do it too long, just enough for the Jello to lift out undamaged.
Now shine a laser pointer through the Jello. You will be able to see the path of the laser and follow as the light is bent by the lens. Set up a series of lenses and have fun. When you are done, you can eat the experiment.